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Friday, December 9, 2011
Mavericks sign Brandan Wright

By Jeff Caplan
ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- After quickly losing two key free agents off the championship roster, the Dallas Mavericks on Friday completed a low-key signing of former lottery pick Brandan Wright to a one-year deal worth around $1 million with a team option for a second year.

Wright arrived in Dallas on Thursday, passed his physical and participated in the team's first workout Friday afternoon as training camps opened around the NBA.

A lanky, 6-foot-10, 210-pound forward, Wright is a former first-round draft pick (eighth overall), but his career has been beset by two shoulder injuries and he has yet to live up to his lofty draft position.

"I thought it was a great fit and a great opportunity with a great group of guys. Coach [Rick] Carlisle is a great teacher and a great coach, world champs," Wright said. "It was an easy decision."

The former North Carolina standout finished last season with the New Jersey Nets after being traded from the Golden State Warriors in February. Wright began his career with the Warriors in 2007, but never played in more than 39 games.

Wright averaged 3.8 points and 2.4 rebounds last season in 37 games, averaging 10.2 minutes. He holds career averages of 5.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 12.6 minutes in 114 career games with 31 starts.

He missed the entire 2009-10 season after left shoulder surgery to repair the second injury to the same shoulder.

"Last year was definitely a bounce-back year, and I wasn't completely healthy until about January or February," Wright said. "The last 10 games, that's when I started to get comfortable and then we had this lockout, obviously. I think it's a good time to show everyone what I can do."

With the departure of center Tyson Chandler, the Mavs needed to bolster their front-line depth. Wright, who favors power forward but can play some small forward and center in smaller lineups, will mostly be looked upon to give the Mavs some size behind Dirk Nowitzki.

Wright already has made an impression on Carlisle.

"We're excited. He's had some difficulty with some injuries and bad luck, but we feel like this is a great time to get him on our team," Carlisle said. "Off of the first day I really like him. He's a great athlete, extremely active, a good feel for the game and a kid that's going to keep getting better."

Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.